The Gophers women’s basketball team didn’t shoot well Wednesday afternoon. Turns out, it didn’t need to.
Rachel Banham scored a game-high 17 points as the Gophers beat North Dakota 57-47 at Williams Arena in its second-to-last nonconference game.
The Gophers (7-3) shot only 35.5 percent from the field and were outrebounded 46-34. But the Fighting Hawks shot even worse, making 34 percent of their field goals — and committed 28 turnovers to the Gophers’ 13.
The Gophers, using a 12-0 run, took a 19-8 lead after the first quarter and never trailed thereafter. Their point total was a season low, but their opponents’ total was also.
“We didn’t work hard in our last game,” Gophers coach Marlene Stollings said, referring to a home loss to New Mexico, “and that’s not common for us. No excuses. We watched it on film and what a big adjustment today, especially defensively.”
Banham, whose streak of scoring at least 20 points in nine previous games this season ended, was 6-for-18 from the floor but had seven rebounds, four steals and two assists. She was one of four Gophers to score in double figures. Mikayla Bailey had 11 points and Jessie Edwards and Carlie Wagner 10 apiece.
With her 12th point, Banham became the No. 5 scorer in Big Ten history, passing Purdue’s MaChelle Joseph.
Mia Loyd, a senior forward from DeLaSalle who was picked the Big Sky Conference preseason player of the year, led North Dakota (4-7) with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Minnesota now leads 4-1 in the all-time series with UND.